Nikkei.com has reported that the Thai baht was the worst-performing major Southeast Asian currency in the first quarter as fundamentals eroded due to lack of tourism spending.
According to various statistics, the baht depreciated by 4% against the US dollar to 31.24. The decline was noticeable against regional currencies, which were also declining.
This week, last Wednesday, the baht hit its lowest level in about six months.
The weakening foundations of the kingdom led to its decline. Thailand’s current account was a deficit of $ 1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a surplus of $ 6.6 billion in the third quarter and $ 11.5 billion in the same period last year.
According to the Bank of Thailand, it was the first time since the third quarter of 2014 that Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy has posted a deficit.
Tourism services revenues fell to $ 742 million due to border closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, just 5% from the same period last year.
Previously, Thailand’s stable current account surplus, bolstered by a steady influx of tourists, supported the currency.
There are several uncertainties. “Exporters and importers, as well as investors, are still not sure whether the government’s efforts will save the economy,” said a trader at a commercial bank.